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View Diary: Limbaugh Thinking About Divorcing Cumulus Radio (55 comments)

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  •  20 million (10+ / 0-)

    Rush's audience has been traditionally cited as "20 million" since Gulf War I.  It hasn't gotten any bigger since then, even though the nation's population has increased from 250 million to 312 million.  It is unclear exactly how that number was originally calculated, but most likely it is the number of people who tune him in for even a few minutes a month.

    This 20 million number is cited as evidence of his total superiority over any and all competition, which in tns proves that liberalism has been vanquishd by his brand of conservatism--- but 292 million Americans choose not to listen to him at all.  Actually it's even more than 292 million who choose not to listen to Limbaugh: in May 2013, Talkers Magazine (a trade publication for rightwing talk radio industry) estimated Rush's audience to be 14 million.

    •  wonder what his numbers would be if he (11+ / 0-)

      were dumped by Armed Forces Radio?

    •  Those numbers were made up... (5+ / 0-)

      The source for the 20 million claim was a Limbaugh staffer. So even in his heyday there was never any independent confirmation that this was true. And, as far as I know, no one has ever verified it. Keeping in mind that number was from twenty years ago.

      •  that 14 million (0+ / 0-)

        The 14 million cited by Talkers Magazine is a "weekly cume": it's the cumulative number of everyone who tunes in for even a few minutes a week.  The publicly available numbers for radio listenership are surprisingly vague.  I am pretty sure Talkers Magazine is giving Rush the benefit of the doubt.  Sean Hannity is #2, at 13.5 million.

        Talkers Magazine's list only cover commercial political talk radio shows on conventional "terrestial" radio.  Sports talk is actually a more popular format.  The numbers leave out satellite radio, internet streaming, and (most importantly) public radio. (Actually, Rush's 14 million and Hannity's 13.5 million apparently do include people who are listening to satellite & internet simulcasts--- but there are a lot of successful radio hosts who don't even bother trying to get on conventional radio anymore.)

        •  Radio has ratings... (0+ / 0-)

          Having recently worked in radio, let me give the details. It's called Arbitron. People who are part of the Arbitron survey wear little pager-like devices called Person Preference Meters. Talk about a misnomer, the PPM doesn't care what you actually want to listen to, it listens for the sub-audible time codes that every station participating in the Arbitron ratings system encodes in their signal. So, if you are wearing an Arbitron PPM device, and walk by a radio playing Rush's show, you will be counted as one of his listeners for that day, part of his cume. It records every time stamp it hears, and reports that data to Arbitron. Now, Arbitron tracks all to timestamps your PPM receives. So if your PPM hears one Rush time stamp, and 5 hours worth of NPR timestamps, they all get reported. Arbitron tracks not just who did you listen to, but for how long. Rush has never disclosed anything about how long anyone listens to him, and implies that everyone who is recorded as listening to his show listened to the whole show.

          As someone who worked in a top rated station, we didn't really care about cume, by itself. We were far more interested in increasing the time each listener spent tuned in. Of course, that's because we were looking at our real performance, not looking for a way to brag.

          Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

          by rhonan on Mon May 06, 2013 at 11:14:22 PM PDT

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          •  that's like Fox News counting as viewers people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            who go into a gym where the owner has the overhead TV set to Fox News, even if they loathe the network, would love to change the channel and don't even look at that screen the whole time that they work out.

            "Did they really think that we wouldn't notice? Nice try-- but we got you!" Rev. Al Sharpton

            by growingMajorityMN on Wed May 08, 2013 at 02:03:09 PM PDT

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